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Top 10 Favorite Table Games

I love RPGs, gathering around a table and getting lost in fantasy with my friends. Sometimes though I just want a beer and pretzels type of game. Deal out the cards, lay out the tiles, and have fun. In no particular order (because I’m lazy) here are my favorite tabletop games:

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Munchkin – This card game is a simplified dungeon crawl with a stack of doors, and a stack of loot. Each person starts out as a 1st level human with no class, and that’s just the first joke of the game. The weapons are all tongue in cheek, the artwork comical, and the gameplay is fast and funny. The basic game is fantasy based, but there are any number of official sets for whatever your fandom might be. The best news is they can all work together making for some strange combinations.

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Betrayal at House on the Hill – Betrayal was the first random map game I ever really got into. You and your friends play a group of (fools) entering a haunted house. The map is laid out randomly from the foyer as you explore and find omens that will eventually reveal that one of you is a traitor. Or not. The main game has 50 possible reveals, and they’ve recently released an expansion for it, Widow’s Walk.

Abduction – Now this random map game is a simple deck of cards with cardboard cutout minis. You have been abducted by aliens and have to be the first one to escape. The layout of the ship can be chaotic, and with certain cards played, it can actually change at the last second snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. I call dibs on the cow mini.

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Zombies!!! – I thought zombies were cool before they were cool, so when I saw this board game where you and your friends all played survivors trying to escape a town overrun with zombies. I was in. Starting with the center of town you deal out random tiles trying to find the helicopter pad and escape, or be the first to rack up a zombie kill count of 25. The game comes with 100 rubber zombies, so I also found it useful for the survival horror RPG I was running. There are several add-ons to date (8 I think) that make the map more complex adding a shopping mall, a military base, a college campus, a prison etc.

Zombies!!! 4 – The 3rd expansion for this game can really be called a stand-alone. Whereas the first game takes place in a city , this setting is a haunted forest accessible by a bridge out of the main city. The point here is to collect the pages of the Necronomicon and perform the ritual. This version also comes with 100 rubber zombie dogs to “hound” you throughout the forest.

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Red Dragon Inn – Dungeon crawls are fun, but what happens after the quest when the party is loaded down with gold? They drink and gamble it away. This game, with its four stand-alones and several individual add-ons has you choosing a character and using their personal deck to out drink their fellows, or win all their gold. If you pass out or go broke, you’re out of the game. Each character has their own strength and weaknesses. If you choose to imbibe some adult beverages of your own, drink responsibly.

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Epic PvP: Fantasy – This is a one on one deck battling game. Your race is chosen at random, as is your class making for some interesting combos. They’ve also come out with a companion game Epic PVP: Magic that can be combined with the original or played separately. My only wish is that it was designed for more than 2 players.

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Cards Against Humanity – How bad are your friends? How badly do you want to know? Play this game once and you’ll find out. The only drawback I found was after multiple games you start to get shocked less by the combos. Buying more cards, or finding new players is a must to extend the replay ability of this one.

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Chrononauts – Time travel is cool. A series or cards are laid out depicting the timeline of our natural history with alternate versions of key events on the reverse of the cards. Each player is given a secret goal that must achieve in order to win the game. By traveling up and down the timeline and playing cards to switch events they can create the future they know in order to win the game.

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Flux – You win by playing cards to empty your hand, but every card you play changes the rules. I’ve seen versions for just about every fandom (Chtulu, Monty Python, Batman as examples). It’s a funny game that’s easy to pick up and play.

Thia the Bard’s Top 10 Horror Games

Thia the Bard’s Top 10 Horror Games

Here it is friends. October! My favorite month. It is filled with thrills and chills. Speaking of thrills it only seemed to proper to make this month’s Top 10 horror themed. Yes, it’s time to get spooky.

Here are some games to help you get into the Halloween spirit.

1. Five Nights at Freddy’s

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I don’t think I could compile a list like this without including this game. Five Night’s at Freddy’s is a horror game that, while it has limited gameplay, has been a fan favorite. Many of our favorite gamers to watch have been playing the games as they try to survive the night as an employee of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. While there isn’t a lot to the gameplay, the setting, music and overall theme does bring the scares.

2. Betrayal at House on the Hill

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Betrayal at House on the Hill is a favorite here at Real Women of Gaming. Wizards of the Coast developed this tabletop game that is a great one for any Halloween party. Players choose a character and start to explore the house by choosing different cards. The house builds as you play. Meanwhile, players are trying to acquire helpful items without flipping the tile that will set off an event that will lead to sudden yet inevitable betrayal of someone in your party. Then it is a game of survival against whatever horror has been unleashed.

3. Slender: The Arrival

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This one may be a little controversial to some people due to recent events. Slender: The Arrival is a survival game. Armed only with a flashlight, the player explores abandoned areas. Slenderman, based on the Creepy Pasta, flashes in and out of the player’s line of sight. His frequency and aggression depending on the level.

4. Dead of Winter

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Dead of Winter brings in an antagonist we can’t seem to get enough of, zombies. Wait…are the zombies really the biggest threat to the players? Every player chooses a character to play. Every character has a hidden agenda. A player could be hoarding gasoline because their card says to or they could be hoarding it because they are secretly working against everyone else. How do you know who to trust? With the undead at your door and shady people at your back, this game is a great horror tabletop.

5. Silent Hill

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Silent Hill is a horror game that has spawned multiple sequels and two movies. The games are set in a fictional town inspired by the real life burning Centralia in Pennsylvania. The town has multiple dimensions, one regular and the others are monster infested. The protagonist must complete different tasks and try to survive the monsters and baddies of the town. The games and the first movie are very popular. The games have been featured on many playthroughs and the characters have been used by many cosplayers.

6. Ouija

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There is a long history of people using “talking boards” to communicate with the dead. They gained popularity in America during the Spiritualist movement which began in the mid 1800s. The Ouija board has letters, numbers, “yes”, “no” and “goodbye” written on the board. The players use the planchette as a tool to communicate with the spirits following the rules of the game. There has been controversy that has come from many religious groups about a game being marketed for children that could open a door to demons or evil spirits.  Does it really, though?

7. The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo

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Recently, I was watching one of my favorite YouTubers and they started to play The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo. It is a text-based horror game. The player clicks on different options that then change the direction of the game. The game is fun. It also isn’t that long, even if the player goes for all the different endings.

8. Rippers

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Rippers is perfect for gamers who love both RPGs and the idea of being monster hunters. This game is set in a Victorian world with monsters on the loose. The players create characters who hunt the monsters down in a Van Helsing fashion. It sounds like a blast for a Halloween themed campaign.

9. Fran Bow

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Fran Bow is a game that our own Vanri the Rogue has been playing. After the murder of her parents, Fran is sent to a mental asylum for children. Her beloved cat, Mr. Midnight, cannot be found. After having a dream about him, she decides to run away to find him and her only living relative. The player solves puzzles and finds objects to help Fran on her quest.

10. Elder Sign

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Elder Sign is a personal favorite. I know it is found on a lot of these lists, but that’s because it’s a great game. The main goal of the game is to choose a character to help keep the Old Ancient Ones, like our lord and savior Cthulhu, from leaking into the Earth. Characters have special abilities to try to help them get artifacts and keep their sanity. The only problem is that you are reliant on the dice which, honestly, are always trying to kill us. It is a kind of complicated game, but so much fun. What more could you ask for this Halloween?

There you have it, my fiendish friends. I hope you bring out some of this frightful fun for Halloween this year!

Always keep sparkling!

Gaming Review 3/2/14

 

Co OpGaming is in a constant state of flux and change. One of the things that I hold dear is the fact that I can ride this wave of change and be introduced to new and interesting ideas. I get to see the upgrades, I experience the enhanced graphics, unbelievable story lines, voice acting, choose my own adventure artform that is a different rollercoaster for each player. Its like having a front row seat to play the main character in all the books you’ve ever read.

Actually that is exactly what it is.

However, I get to pull out my N64 and race my podracer; I can be a Dragoon on my SNES again; a Plumber on my NES; relive my adventures as Cloud on my Playstation. I can do all of that and none of it is abnormal for me (well, adjusting my eyes to the graphics takes a moment). I can replay a game just like I can read a book again, as if greeting an old friend.

To game you don’t have to have a starting point. You don’t have to start playing Monopoly to understand playing Lords of Waterdeep. You don’t have to play Dungeons and Dragons to play Cyberpunk or Deadlands. You don’t have to start at the 1st edition to play the 4th edition. You don’t have to play Legend of the Five Rings from the beginning to pick a Clan and join the fight. Hell, you don’t have to play the very first release of Munchkin to understand any of the 50 million additions of the game.

There is no starting point, no “start here.” no “go.” You find what you like and you jump in. You make friends as you go, share what you love, geek out. Learn lore, kill some aliens, fight the good fight. Live a million lives, be a part of a million stories, embrace things you never thought possible.

I love that I can chat with men and women, children and grandparents, people from other countries and walks of life, sexuality, religion, race, gender. None of those things (should) matter. My gamer friends are geeks, jocks, models, musicians, managers, students, corporate gears and retail hell survivors. They are all so different it’s amazing that we share this love that brings us together.

So lets review some togetherness.

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